Keeping this in mind makes the whole process a little more flexible.

Bright White Kitchen with Brass Details
Credit: Laurey W. Glenn

When choosing a kitchen countertop, many questions arise. What material will stand up to the wear and tear of everyday kitchen tasks? Marble is notorious for staining. Butcher block doesn't play well with moisture. Laminate is easily damaged by sharp knives and hot pans. There are plenty of considerations when making that choice; however, most people are preoccupied with a single looming question: Which is the one material for me? It can be stressful to answer, but what if we told you that you don't have to choose just one? What if you could use multiple countertop materials in your kitchen?

You can. One thing often forgotten when choosing a counter surface is that you can mix and match. The best countertops incorporate the surfaces that work both in your space and for your particular kitchen needs. Butcher block on the island and laminate by the sink? Sure! Stainless steel by the stove and quartz everywhere else? Definitely. It's all ok, as long as it works for you.

When incorporating different countertop materials in one kitchen, it's important to consider how you use the space and where the different materials will work best. Instead of using one or two different materials over wide swaths of countertop, you could choose to inset different surfaces into your main countertop. Each material could be a distinct surface with its own accompanying kitchen duty, such as chopping vegetables (butcher block), preparing meals (stainless steel), and rolling dough (marble). This mix-and-matched style offers options when prepping, cooking, and cleaning, and it adds versatility to a space you use every day.

When choosing countertops, there are plenty of surface materials to consider—marble, granite, quartz, quartzite, laminate, wood, stainless steel, and concrete, to name just a few—and it's important to find one (or several) that most closely align with your lifestyle. If you find that one surface isn't conducive to your kitchen needs, don't be afraid to mix and match. Remember: The kitchen is supposed to serve you, not the other way around.

WATCH: How to Mix Kitchen Countertops

The selection of kitchen countertop materials on the market today seems endless. What with the ever-growing array of materials, colors, and finishes, we like the idea of being free to mix and match to a homeowner's personal specifications. What advice would you share with someone selecting countertops for the first time?